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Monument record MDR6507 - Yew Tree Shelter, Creswell Crags, Hodthorpe and Belph

Type and Period (4)

  • (Upper Palaeolithic to Late Mesolithic - 40000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • (Mesolithic - 10000 BC to 4001 BC)
  • (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)
  • (Upper Palaeolithic - 40000 BC to 10001 BC)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK 5374 Yew Tree Shelter, Upper Palaeolithic Occupation. Rock shelter opposite Boat House Cave, excavated by Armstrong 1936-1938, with evidence of Later Upper Palaeolithic occupation. (1, 2) This prominent shelter, at the eastern end of the Creswell gorge, is the largest of a series of shelters on the northern outcrop. The shelter consists of a rock overhang some 22m in length. Attention was originally drawn to the shelter by Armstrong in 1930 and excavation began in autumn 1936, continuing intermittently until 1938. The precise size of the area excavated is unclear and the depth of deposit is not indicated in the brief reports published by Armstrong. The surface deposit contained microliths said by Armstrong to be similar in form to those from the upper levels of the adjacent Mother Grundy's Parlour. The surface also produced half a perforated axe hammer of sandstone. Underlying the surface deposits, Armstrong states that Palaeolithic horizons were found. In addition to flint artefacts and a bone awl, there were bones from mammoth, bear, wolf, reindeer, horse, bos, and hyena as well as bones and ivory of woolly rhinoceros. The lower parts of the Palaeolithic levels also revealed a hearth deposit. Unfortunately most of the artefacts from the site have been lost. However, it appears that Yew tree Shelter had a later Upper Palaeolithic flint industry at its base in the central and eastern area of the site, while the uppermost deposits contained a Mesolithic industry. (3) Within a scheduled area encompassing the whole of Creswell Crags. (4) A long shelter in the eastern section of Creswell Crags, first excavated by Armstrong in 1937. He reports finding 18 inches of deposit with archaeological levels similar to the upper levels of Mother Grundy's Parlour (SMR34306) (Later Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic). A Neolithic horizon is also reported but the whereabouts of the extant archaeological material is unknown and therefore this cannot be checked. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust Index: 1950. 1950.
  • <2> Article in serial: Armstrong, A. 1937. British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1937.
  • <3> Monograph: Jenkinson, R. 1984. Creswell Crags: Late Pleistocene Sites in the East Midlands, British Archaeological Reports 122. pp 19-20.
  • <4> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1988. Scheduling Notification: Palaeolithic and Later Prehistoric Sites at Creswell Gorge…... 275. Cat. No. 275.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Jenkinson, R. 1978. The archaeological caves and rock shelters in the Creswell Crags area, Creswell Crags Visitor Centre research report No. 1.



Grid reference Centred SK 5363 7430 (47m by 29m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR3837
  • EDR3853
  • EDR229

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jun 12 2017 4:42PM

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